The 1993 romantic drama “Untamed Heart,” starring Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater.

The 1993 romantic drama “Untamed Heart,” starring Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater.

Credit:

United Archives GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

In the mid-'90s, when all of his buddies were watching action movies, 14-year-old Hari Kondabolu was secretly obsessing over a romantic drama, "Untamed Heart."

The movie stars Marisa Tomei as a waitress at a diner in Minneapolis. She falls in love with a mysterious busboy played by Christian Slater, but there's a catch — Slater's character claims to have a baboon heart, which ultimately leads to a tragic ending.

Ridiculous conflict device aside, pubescent Kondabolu knew it wasn't the kind of movie he could tell other people was his favorite.

"As a teenage boy ... you're not supposed to want to fall in love, and you're not supposed to appreciate two characters who are in love. We're not really taught that."

Nevertheless, "Untamed Heart" was just the gateway drug for Kondabolu, who has been mainlining sappy romance films ever since.

Guest host Hari Kondabolu is a stand-up comedian and the writer and star of the documentary “The Problem with Apu.” He’s performing shows across the United States this fall.

(Originally aired October 19, 2017)

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